It’s been a wild and woolly few weeks, culminating in my graduation last Saturday evening. Final academic requirement for the MFA was a 20-minute public reading from the body of work produced over the past two years. Seeing as my project title is Homemade Heart, it seemed absolutely necessary that I make my outfit for the presentation. Inspiration for the pink linen dress is rooted in the feminine and lightly vintage clothing worn by Juliette Binoche in the film Chocolat. How lucky that on the day I went shopping, patterns were on sale for $1.99! The Singer sewing machine is one I purchased years ago from a neighbor who was on her way into a nursing home. I think I bought it as much for my love of anything to do with textile production as that I felt sad that she had to leave her home. This dress was the machine’s inaugural adventure after a much-needed trip to the repair shop, and it performed perfectly.
As I read the introduction, the image of my thesis cover displayed for the audience. For the body of my reading, the screen was blank. But for the final six paragraphs, a stream of twenty-one pieces of art work from my teenage notebooks accompanied the narrative.
The last image is a print from a self-portrait done in linoleum wood block. Note the clapper in lower right-hand corner: one of my mentors, Richard A. Carey.
At long last, the moment (a serious one, judging by our facial expressions in this photo) was upon me. Mentor and author Diane Les Becquets presented me to the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Karen Erickson, for my hood and diploma.